June 13, 2024

The top-ranked prospect in Blue Jays Nation‘s pre-season countdown is none other than Ricky Tiedemann.

Tiedemann, a left-handed starting pitcher born on August 18, 2002, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the third round of the 2021 draft. Despite not making his professional debut until the 2022 season, he quickly made an impact, showcasing impressive numbers. In his debut year, he recorded a stellar 2.17 ERA and a 2.51 FIP over 78.2 innings pitched. His remarkable 38.9% strikeout rate (K%) and 9.6% walk rate (BB%) were among the best in the organization for pitchers with over 40 innings pitched. Notably, he even pitched in Double-A as a 19-year-old, a noteworthy achievement.

In the following season, Tiedemann continued to impress, showcasing improvement in various statistics. Despite missing some time due to a left bicep injury, he excelled in Single-A (rehab), Double-A, and Triple-A, ending the season with a 3.83 ERA and an outstanding 1.98 FIP over 47 innings pitched. His strikeout rate soared to 43.7%, once again leading the organization among pitchers with over 40 innings pitched, although his walk rate increased slightly to 12.2%. Nevertheless, his K-BB% remained the highest in the organization for the second consecutive season.

To gain additional innings and recover from his injury, Tiedemann participated in the Arizona Fall League, where he further showcased his talents. He posted a 2.50 ERA over 18 innings pitched, earning recognition as the AFL Pitcher of the Year while maintaining a solid 31.5% strikeout rate and an 11% walk rate.

As expected, Tiedemann holds the top spot not only on my prospect list but also on rankings by Fangraphs, Baseball America, and TSN’s Scott Mitchell. Fangraphs goes further, placing him 28th among all prospects in baseball, while Baseball America ranks him 22nd overall.

According to Fangraphs, Tiedemann possesses exceptional pitching repertoire, featuring a deceptive delivery and a fastball that typically sits in the mid-90s, occasionally touching close to 100 mph. Additionally, he boasts a plus changeup and a plus slider with sweeping movement. While Fangraphs notes that Tiedemann’s delivery may lean towards that of a reliever, they highlight his potential to be a dominant force in the bullpen.

At just 21 years old, Tiedemann could see Major League action as soon as the 2024 season, possibly starting out of the bullpen as a long reliever before transitioning to a starting role in 2025. Despite the Blue Jays’ surplus of starting pitching depth, a strong performance in Triple-A at the start of the season could prompt the team to expedite his call-up to the big leagues.

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 1: Ricky Tiedemann

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